Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received a PDF ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. The book is kind of a cross between MG and YA, leaning more towards MG in my opinion, if it wasn’t for the ages of the main characters. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Title: The Year of Lightning
Author: Ryan Dalton
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): When 15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town, they never imagined that the old house across the street could bring them so much trouble. A secret machine has reawakened inside, with the power to pierce time itself.
Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town. They’re getting worse every week, and seem to enjoy striking kids who just want to pass science class and mind their own business. When Malcolm and Valentine discover a connection between the house and the storms, their situation goes from mysterious to crazy stupid dangerous. Someone is controlling the great machine, and their purpose is nearly complete.
In a race against time, the twins must uncover the chilling plan, the mastermind behind it, and the force that’s driving the deadly storms. They’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their town’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.
This book sounded interesting from the summary, so I was happy to receive a PDF copy in exchange for a honest review. It was a little slow at first, and I think some of it could have been cut/explained quicker, so the book wasn’t so long. Overall, it was a fun, interesting read. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Adventure type books like this one remind me of my Harry Potter love, at least a teensy bit. I think that’s why I decided to read this book, even though I’m not normally a huge adventure, sci-fi type person. I do like some fantasy books, but my major love is contemporary romance. Like I said, it was a little slow, but most of the characters I liked, and the book was pretty action packed at the end (and twisty!), so that made up for the slow parts.
Malcom and Valentine were pretty good main characters in my opinion. I had a little bit of a hard time relating to them at first, but by the end, I really liked them. I wasn’t a huge fan of their friends either, except John. Winter was okay, and I kind of liked Fred, but when he spoke, I kept thinking of Jamie Kennedy’s character in Malibu’s Most Wanted. I liked the older generation of people: Oma Grace, Walter, and Clive.
The beginning of the story is building up to the last 100 or so pages, where the action is fast and furious. I thought the book had a nice, cliffhanger-ish ending. It should definitely make readers want the next book ASAP. I want to find out what happens next with the gang, and see who is going to join in on the fun in the next book.
I felt like some of the issues with the twins could have been discussed a bit more. They were pretty much just swept under the rug, or ignored. A little less of the “chilling plan” and more on the twins personal lives would have been a nice touch. Maybe the book would have been 4.5, or 5, stars then. But regardless, I’d still recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and/or sci-fi books.
There are no book boyfriends for me in this book. A couple of the guys were okay, but there wasn’t really any romance going on throughout the book, at least not to the extent that I like to see. I didn’t really keep track of any lines while I was reading, except for this one: “Ten pounds of crazy in a one-pound box?” That one made me laugh a little bit.
Final note: It was a good book overall. Not a 5 star read for me, but 4 stars is still really good. I can’t wait to see what happens with everyone in the next book.
Ryan Dalton is author of the young adult Time Shift Trilogy. His debut novel THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING will be released on January 12, 2016. Ryan splits his time between writing books during the day, fighting crime at night, and hanging out in his awesome underground lair. Please do not tell anyone he’s Batman. It’s a secret.